MacArthur Fellows Program

Loic Wacquant

Sociologist | Class of 1997

Berkeley, California
37 at time of award
Area of Focus

Loïc Wacquant is a sociologist exploring the changing forms and conditions of urban poverty in Europe and America.

Wacquant's early work bridged the heavily theoretical French perspective of the human sciences and the mostly empirical and quantitative scholarship of mainstream American social science.  His expertise ranges from ethnography, as demonstrated in his writings about a South Side Chicago boxing gym and the surrounding neighborhood, to macrosociology, as in his study of the historical transformation of American inner cities.  He is co-author of State Nobility: Elite Schools in the Field of Power (1998) and the author of Les Prisons de le Misère (1999), its English version, Prisons of Poverty (2001), Body and Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer (2004), and Deadly Symbiosis: Race and the Rise of Neoliberal Penality (2005).

Wacquant is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a researcher at the Center for European Sociology in Paris.  He is co-founder and editor of the interdisciplinary journal Ethnography and a regular contributor to Le Monde diplomatique.

Wacquant received a B.S. (1977) from the Lycee Joffre, Montpellier, France, an M.A. (1986) and a Ph.D. (1994) from the University of Chicago, and a Doctorat de Sociologie (1997) from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Last updated January 1, 2006

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